I might’ve gone to Paris for the fashion, but I’m definitely going back for the food. There was the tarte tatin at Ladurée that was so delicious I let myself take half an hour to eat it, because I didn’t want it to be finished. The traditionnelle from the bakery across the street that our host suggested was the best in the neighborhood and she was right. The eclairs and cakes and croissants. Even just the galettes au beurre frais from the supermarket.
But mostly there was the dinner at Chez Janou. Roey had suggested it to me, but then it was already my last evening and I thought: I’m gonna miss it – when my friend Ines proposed that that’s where we go four our good-bye dinner. And lucky that she did. Chez Janou serves traditional French food that’s worth waiting for. And you will wait. We hadn’t booked a table, but didn’t really mind, because even the olives served by the – reassuringly pompous – barman were already very good. No-one else seemed to mind waiting either. People just found room where they could around the bar, even taking bottles of wine in coolers out into the street, enjoying being out on a regular Monday like it was a big Saturday night. We were eventually seated under old movie posters in the cosily lit dining room, where you almost couldn’t hear yourself talk, it was so noisy with chatter and laughter, but we just did as everyone else and raised our voices. My entrecote was excellent (although I almost wish I had gone with Ines’s risotto. Next time…) And then: the mousse au chocolat. I ordered it, but the waiter brought two spoons without asking anyway. Then he plunked down a swimming-pool sized bowl of the dessert on our table, because for seven Euros you can serve yourself as much mousse as you want. Yes: AS MUCH AS YOU WANT. Only you better be quick before the waiter takes the bowl away again. The gaggle of girls on the table next to us saw this and promptly ordered the same. And so there we were, smiling at each other across the tables, strangers, but accomplices in enjoying this food on this night in this city – happy.
So that’s what I’m doing this weekend: mousse au chocolat. There are tons of recipes out there, and I’d love the hear your favourite, but for now I’m trying this one from Raymond Blanc that sounds good.